Dr. Frieda Rudo Ruskin, 72, UM professor of pharmacology

January 23, 1996|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

Dr. Frieda Rudo Ruskin, a retired University of Maryland professor of pharmacology, died Jan. 16 of a brain tumor at her home in Mount Washington. She was 72.

Dr. Ruskin was known worldwide for her contributing research that led to the creation and development of Ethrane and Forane, the two most widely used inhalation anesthetics.

She retired in 1993 from the Department of Pharmacology at UM's Baltimore College of Dental Surgery. In 1967, she became the second woman to be promoted to full professor at the school.

In the course of a 30-year career, she screened and studied more than 5,000 intravenous chemicals for anesthetics and analgesics.

Said Dr. Paul D. Thut, professor of pharmacology at UM, "For over 20 years, she knew more about general anesthetic drugs and how they worked than anyone in the world. Certainly all of the people important in this field respected her work and what she knew."

A tireless researcher who had an aversion to computers, Dr. Ruskin preferred to keep her records on 3-by-5 note cards, Dr. Thut said.

"She was a very patient person who was also a humanitarian. She was so very good at getting the best out of people," said Dr. Thut, who worked with her for 20 years.

The former Frieda Galindo was born in New York City and raised in Puerto Rico, where her father operated a wholesale tobacco business.

She earned a bachelor's degree in 1944 from Goucher College.

She joined the UM faculty in 1955 as a technical consultant in the cardiopulmonary laboratory and in 1960 was appointed instructor in experimental surgery at UM's medical school.

Dr. Ruskin, who was awarded a doctorate in 1963, was a prolific writer whose work on anesthetics was published in textbooks and journals, videotapes, slides and movies for instructional purposes.

She was a member of the President's Club at UM, the Hayden-Harris Associates of the dental school and a fellow of the American College of Dentists. In 1973, Goucher College named her alumna of the year.

Her professional memberships included the International Association of Dental Research, the American Association of Dental Schools, the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine and the Maryland Society for Medical Research. She enjoyed gourmet cooking and skied the Alps and the Rockies. She was a member of the Explorers Club and was an avid sailor.

Her first husband, Dr. Alvin David Rudo, an ear, nose and throat surgeon, died in 1974.

Services were held Thursday for Dr. Ruskin, who is survived by her husband of 13 years, Dr. Raynard F. Ruskin; a son, Andrew B. Rudo of Owings Mills; a daughter, Sharon Rudo Schreter of Lutherville; two sisters, Marie Siegel of Lake Worth, Fla., and Anita Gordon of Royal Palm Beach, Fla.; and three grandchildren.

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